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Nearly 80 per cent of charity senior leadership teams are all white, says report

19 Apr 2018 News

A report into the diversity of charity senior management teams has found that almost 80 per cent lack any one from an ethnic minority background.

Launching today, the report, Charities: Inclusive Governance 2018 by campaign group Inclusive Boards, found that 79 per cent of senior leadership teams are all-white. 

The research, which looked at the top 500 charities in the UK by income,  found that 16 per cent of charities employ one leader from a BAME backround and 2 per cent have two leaders from a BAME background. 

Increase in number of all-white boards

It also found that since the last report 18 months ago, there has been a 5 per cent increase in the number of boards that are all white.

It also found that 62 per cent of the top 500 charities by income have all white boards.

By contrast, there are only four all-BAME boards, a 50 per cent reduction from eight all BAME boards from the last report.

It said that charities in rural and remote areas indicated that finding BAME leaders within those regions was challenging.

The report called on the Charity Commission to “ensure that large charities improve or explain why diversity is lacking on their boards in their annual reports”.

Two-thirds of trustees are male

The research, identified that 66 per cent of trustees were male, while 34 per cent were female. 

Of the trustees identified, 6.6 per cent were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. This was a 0.3 per cent increase from its last report. 

Charities are falling behind the private sector though, FTSE 100 boards having 8.2 per cent of directors from ethnic minority backgrounds.

BAME women account for 2.9 per cent of the trustees whose ethnicity were identified.

'Still significant distance to travel'

Samuel Kasumu, managing director of Inclusive Boards, said in the foreword: “Charities play a pivotal role in ensuring better outcomes for those who need our help the most. They benefit from the goodwill of the general public and very often are custodians for causes so close to so many. 

“Those of us involved in the sector must therefore recognise the importance of having voices from different walks of life involved where vital decisions are made.”

It also said that a total of 8,299 individuals are part of the senior leadership teams and trustee boards of the top 500 charities ranked by income. 
The majority of them (6,338 or 76 per cent), are trustees while the remainder 1961 or 24 per cent are senior leaders. 

The report concluded that compared to findings in our previous report, the 0.3 per cent increase in ethnic minority trustees shows that it is a “topic being taken seriously by some, but there is still significant distance to travel”.

The report also called on the sector to do much better in terms of gender, with 57 per cent of senior leaders male. It said that this is particularly bad as 65 per cent of the charity workforce is female.

Civil Society Media is hosting its Charity People & Culture conference on 18 September 2018, which includes a stream on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion. To see the full programme, and to book, click here.




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